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  • The Barbour Connection

    Mary B. Sherwood

    Published Date : 1987
     The note is dated October 7, 1897, and the letterhead reads “E.D. Barbour, 611 Sears Building, Boston.” It asks my grandfather, Sidney C. Leland of Toledo, Iowa, for family information to be included in the “Barbour Record.” The note was left between pages of Grandfather’s Leland genealogy.

    I had been unable to find any Barbour connection with the Lelands in any Barbour genealogy or other source, except for two clues.  John Leland (1687-1759) of Holliston, Massachusetts, married Abigail Badcock, daughter of Ebenezer.  Abner Morse in his Holliston history writes that Ebenezer Badcock “m. Hannah (___).  In Abner Morse’s copy at the Library of Congress, someone had handprinted “Barbour” in the blank, but the name had been scratched over.  (Abner Morse, A Genealogical Register of the Inhabitants and History of the Towns of Sherborn and Holliston [1856], p. 10).

    The second clue was the listing in Clarence Almon Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (1985) of the marriage of Ebenezer Badcock and Hannah Barbour.

    On the first day of last August’s “Come Home to New England” Seminar at NEHGS I consulted the Torrey volume there - a reproduction of Torrey’s handwritten notes - that lists his references.  One reference was Barbour (MS).  The staff brought out a thick volume of typewritten material - part of Edmund Dana Barbour’s amazing record of Descendants of George Barbour (1907).  Edmund Dana Barbour (writer of the 1897 note) attempted to trace all the descendants of Captain George Barbour, including all the female lines, and he produced 10 typed volumes.  Captain Barbour, born about 1615 in County Suffolk England, died in 1685 in Medfield, Massachusetts.  So there was my Barbour connection.  My grandfather must have answered Edmund Dana Barbour’s appeal; he appears in volume 2, along with his three children. Other genealogists have found E. D. Barbour’s manuscript, of course.  Captain Barbour’s children and some grandchildren appear in Bullard and Allied Families by Edgar J. Bullard (1930).

    A Barbour connection has possibilities for other searchers.  That 1897 note promises: “It may interest you to know that the Barbour Record now contains particulars of over 23,000 descendants of Captain George Barbour, the Puritan leader of Dedham and Medfield, who came to this country in 1635, was Deputy to the General Court, and chief military officer of his district.  Among these are 8645 Morse descendants; 1452 Sanger, 2276 Leland; 1593 Holbrook; 1660 Richardson; 836 Rockwood; 546 Hooker; 966 Haven; 1496 Perry; 865 Smith; 607 Badcock; 645 Whitney; 518 Kibbe, 307 McKinstry.”

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